If you’re considering divorce in Singapore, you might wonder what would happen to your home. In this situation, both parties can discuss and decide on what to do with the property. You can consider options like transferring ownership to one spouse, selling the property, and splitting the proceeds.
The decision will be recorded in a Court judgement during ancillary matters hearing, and if you can’t agree, the Court will decide for you. Remember to consider the housing options available if you can’t keep the house.
In this article, we’ll discuss which Housing and Development Board or HDB divorcee scheme and grant might be available to you as a divorcee. We will also discuss other alternative housing arrangements you can explore after a divorce.
1. Purchasing A BTO Flat Under The ASSIST Scheme
Divorcees can now purchase a subsidised flat right after the divorce. However, there are specific criteria you need to meet. While waiting for this process, you can consider purchasing a BTO (build-to-order) flat under ASSIST (Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers) or a resale flat.
The ASSIST Scheme is also known as the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG). This scheme is a government initiative in Singapore that provides financial assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers purchasing a BTO flat.
Under the scheme, eligible applicants can receive up to 80,000 SGD in grants to help offset the cost of their BTO flat. The grant amount is determined based on the applicant’s income and other factors, such as the size and location of the flat.
To qualify for the AHG, the applicant must have a gross monthly household income of 5,000 SGD or less. The SHG is available to households with a gross monthly income of 8,500 SGD or less. However, the SHG only applies to 2-room Flexi, 3-room and 4-room flats in non-mature estates.
There are two eligibility criteria under ASSIST. First, the applicant must have at least one biological child from the marriage or an adopted child aged 18 years and below.
The other criterion is that the applicant should not have acquired any interest in an existing HDB flat or private property right after the divorce. You will not qualify for this scheme if you do not have a child from your marriage or custody of such children.
2. Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS)
The PPHS (Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme) is a housing initiative by the Singapore government aimed at supporting young families and encouraging parenthood. The scheme provides eligible first-time parents with affordable rental housing for up to 3 years while they wait for their new public housing flat to be ready.
The main advantage is that divorced individuals have priority allocation. The PPHS offers rental rates lower than market rates, making them a more affordable option for young families. They also have facilities equipped with childproofing measures and baby gates. Most PPHS are close to schools, childcare centres, supermarkets, and medical facilities.
PPHS housing provides stable housing for young families, which helps reduce the stress of finding temporary accommodation while waiting for a new flat. All this helps enhance family bonding through a positive and supportive family atmosphere.
Here are several eligibility criteria for PPHS:
- You must be a Singaporean citizen and have another citizen in your household.
- You and the occupants of the PPHS flat should not own an existing HDB flat.
- You and other applicants are listed in the sales application.
- If you share the PPHS with another household, the maximum number of occupants should not exceed six in the rented three-room PPHS flat.
3. Purchasing A Resale Flat
As a divorcee in Singapore, purchasing an HDB resale flat can be a viable option for obtaining a stable home for yourself and your children.
One main reason to purchase a resale flat is that it’s readily available compared to BTO flats. With BTO flats, you might wait a few years to move into your new home. Also, since different resale flats are available, you get to choose which one fits your preferences.
Another advantage is the immediate move-in. After your divorce, you want to be in a new environment, and waiting for a BTO flat can take up to 3-4 years. The immediate move-in is also great considering that a resale flat is usually situated in mature estates. These are well-established neighbourhoods with schools, parks, and public transportation.
Things To Consider
First, consider your financial considerations, such as your savings, income, and other expenses, before deciding if it fits your financial means. Next is to consider your eligibility for financing. Depending on your credit score and income, you may be eligible for an HDB loan or a bank loan.
You should consider all legal considerations and engage a family lawyer to help you with all legal aspects, as there might be extra things you might have glossed over. If you consider all the things mentioned, you can check if you’re eligible. There are a few eligibility criteria you need to qualify for.
- Just like the PPHS criteria, you need to be a Singaporean citizen.
- You should be at least 35 years old to qualify.
- If you need a housing loan, ensure you have the HLE (HDB Loan Eligibility) Letter.
- You should also ensure you meet the requirements of the Ethnic Integration Policy and Singapore Permanent Resident Quota Policy.
4. Proximity Housing Grant
The Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) is a housing subsidy provided by the Singapore government to encourage families to live closer to their parents or children. The grant is available to eligible families who are purchasing a resale flat located within 4 km of their parents’ or child’s existing HDB flat or private residential property.
The PHG provides a grant of up to $30,000, depending on the type of flat and the distance between the two flats. The grant is intended to help families care for and support each other by living in closer proximity.
There are two different categories you can qualify for under PHG, namely the family and singles categories.
As long as you have custody of your children, you can qualify for this if you are:
- A Singapore citizen
- You are above 21 years old.
- You are applying with the children under your legal custody. If custody is shared with your ex-spouse, you must obtain their written agreement before listing your child or children in the application.
If you’re going to live within four kilometres from your parents or children who are not living with you, you will be able to obtain up to 20,000 SGD on the grant. But if you live with your parents or children, you will obtain 30,000 SGD for the grant.
This category applies if you are a divorcee with no children from the marriage or you have no custody of your children. You can choose between the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme, the Joint Singles Scheme, and the Public Scheme.
Conclusion On HDB Divorcee Schemes In Singapore
Life after divorce will take some time to adjust. There are HDB divorcee schemes for you to choose from, and they depend on how quickly you want to move, your financial considerations, and what kind of facilities you want near your new location.
Even if you know every detail on housing subsidies, housing grants, and every option available, it’s always best to contact a lawyer. The Singapore Family Lawyer offers a free initial consultation to assess your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About HDB Divorcee Schemes In Singapore
Can I Sell My Flat After Divorce?
To sell your flat after a divorce, it must reach its Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) upon the divorce completion date. If it didn’t reach the MOP, you can request a special approval to be able to sell the flat.
What Happens To My HDB Flat After Divorce?
You and your ex-spouse should come to an agreement on what should happen to the property. If one spouse agrees to transfer their interest in the flat to the other spouse, that spouse can keep the flat. You can also sell the flat and split the proceeds accordingly.
Can An Unmarried Person Own A HDB Flat In Singapore?
Yes, unmarried persons can purchase resale HDB flats. There are certain criteria for single and married persons depending on which HDB scheme you want.
Can A Divorced Couple Keep A House?
There are some eligibility requirements for you to retain the flat. If you have custody over your child or children and you can’t take on the home loan for the flat yourself, you can keep the house. However, it’s always best to ask your lawyer about this, as the HDB flat falls under matrimonial assets.